Judge orders Trump administration to allow abortion for undocumented teen

Cheryl Sanders
October 19, 2017

In her ruling Wednesday, District Judge Tanya Chutkan, an Obama-era appointee, settled a contentious element of the administration's argument for denying the girl an abortion, saying the teenager's legal status had no bearing on her constitutional right to an abortion.

Stewart told the judge that pregnant undocumented minors from other countries are not entitled to abortions, and said in court records that opening the door to that right "would significantly infringe on the government's interests in preserving life and protecting national boundaries".

"Just because she's here illegally doesn't mean she doesn't have constitutional rights", Chutkan, who said she was "astounded" by the government's position on the matter, said. In court filings, the government said it has "strong and constitutionally legitimate interests in promoting childbirth, in refusing to facilitate abortion, and in not providing incentives for pregnant minors to illegally cross the border to obtain elective abortions while in federal custody".

"Today's ruling is outrageous and sets a risky precedent", SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said. While living in this facility, she is legally granted access to "family planning services, including pregnancy tests and. access to medical reproductive health services and emergency contraception".


"This ruling plays into the broader agenda of the ACLU, which is recklessly exploiting a teenage girl in order to make the United States a sanctuary state for abortion". Shame on this judge for overruling compassionate care and instead mandating that the USA government help facilitate an abortion for a teenage girl.

"Today's ruling is justice for Jane", he told me.

A lengthy Politico report indicated that the Trump administration has "intervened to prevent abortions sought by girls at federally funded shelters, even in cases of rape and incest and when the teen had a way to pay for the procedure".

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the Trump administration was forcing Doe to continue carrying her pregnancy against her will.


"In March 2017, the Trump administration implemented a revised policy "that allows [shelters] to wield an unconstitutional veto power over unaccompanied immigrant minors" access to abortion", according to court documents. She is also suing Scott Lloyd, the director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, for punitive damages.

There is a lawsuit on behalf of "Jane Doe", a 17-year-old unaccompanied minor who was taken into federal custody.

Here's what abortion was like in the United States before and after the landmark Supreme Court case, and where it may be headed next.

Earlier this month, a USA magistrate in California said that ORR policy to obstruct abortions appeared to be illegal. Both steps potentially violated the girl's constitutional right to privacy and other protections, Chutkan said. Lloyd reportedly has said he would allow pregnant minors to be released only for "pregnancy services and life-affirming options counseling". Instead, he has directed shelters to take these minors to "crisis pregnancy centers" to be "counseled" out of their decision. Texas law requires minors get parental consent or a judicial waiver before they may obtain an abortion, which Jane Doe obtained by going to court with the assistance of an attorney and an appointed guardian. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) appears to have changed its policy regarding the detainment of pregnant people and is no longer immediately releasing them, leading some women, featured in a complaint against ICE, to experience complications in their pregnancy, including miscarriage.


"Federal law is very clear on giving the director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement the legal responsibility to care for the health and well-being of a minor in the unaccompanied alien children program and, in this case, her unborn baby", the statement continued.

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